Monday, August 03, 2015
summertime -- and the living is easy
I cannot hear that Gershwin tune without feeling the beads of sweat form on my forehead. Nothing better evokes the essence of the most complex of seasons.
Sure. There is Berlin's Heatwave. But whether sung by Marilyn Monroe or Olga San Juan, the only image it conjures is the silver screen. Gershwin's song requires sun screen -- and a sweat rag.
A week or two ago, the weather in our little village by the sea cranked up both the heat and humidity. Just in time to welcome the waves of Mexican families who come to the beach as part of summer vacation.
Even though Melaque has had plenty of visitors since school let out, the crowds were nothing like they were this last weekend. The past few weeks, families have arrived mainly by SUV -- and the occasional bus.
For whatever reason, the last two days saw bus after bus migrating into town. Some for the full weekend. More for day trippers who arrive early in the morning, and then board the bus for the trip home in the late afternoon.
Barra de Navidad, for some reason, had not been reaping the benefit of the tourist largesse. Earlier in the summer, the tourist area of town (what one waggish reader labeled: "What Six Flags would imagine a Mexican village to be") was as deserted as a Fred Zinnemann set at high noon.
Not this weekend. I could barely shoot the photographs for my mural essay because of the constant string of cars and buses passing in front of it.
The town has had some rather rough patches lately. For that reason alone, it was nice to see its main street crowded with tourists.
Why the big change? Why did more people come to the beach this weekend than the previous weeks?
One reason may be that the start of school is just around the corner. Unlike cosseted northern students, Mexican children only get a few weeks away from the classroom in the summer.
But it could be far more simple. Maybe the idea just popped into the heads of individual families simultaneously. Such mysteries are what make the free market work.
Whatever the reason, it is good to see our beaches being put to their best use. Mexican families do not need all-inclusive resorts to enjoy themselves. Instead, they remind me of my youth when my mother would pile my brother and me into our red and white Ford station wagon and drive us over to the beach for the day -- or weekend.
As I write this, a thunderstorm, with attendant rain, is moving in. Just as the tourist families are moving out.
A perfect combination. The tourists had the sun. Now, those of us who live here, can have a bit of heat respite.
And that strikes me as a rather good deal. The living really is easy.
You didn't think I was going to sign off without sharing a version of "Summertime," did you? Here you go. The incomparable Ella Fitzgerald's rendition:
Note -- I shot the photograph from the new pergola at Papa Gallo's. Pretty nifty, eh? A shady table on a showy beach.